Amidst all the disappointment surrounding the Red Bulls loss against Sporting KC this week – and there was a lot of it – one bit of noteworthy news went under the radar. Rafa Marquez had another solid match for New York in his first complete 90 minute game since May 23rd of this season.
“I thought I would be in a bad state or maybe out of rhythm but I think in the first half, I felt very good,” a pleased Marquez said. “In the second, well I fell little by little for the same lack of fitness. From what I have shown, and after being out of the game for two months, I think I feel well.”
Of course, his play could do little to right the ship in a match that once again was snake-bit by the Red Bulls penchant to give up the early goal. It wasn’t for lack of effort, mind you. In the eyes of Rafa Marquez, the Red Bulls – from players to coaching staff – need to focus their concentration for the playoff run if they want to avoid similar deflating results.
“We played until the end. Maybe not with organization, but with a lot of fight and heart. In the end, it wasn’t enough,” he explained. “(There was a) Lack of attention, not keeping track of our markers and well, we have to keep working. It has been our cancer since our first game and I think the person to fix that is the coach.”
“More or less, I don’t think we had the type of organization we needed,” he elaborated. “It was the first game we played with Cahill behind Henry, (myself) alongside Teemu Tainio. We have to highlight the effort the team made but it was not enough.
“I think it was bad that we had such few chances to get a goal but well again in the first few minutes we played distracted and it caused us to go behind early,” he said. “We just need to keep working. There is no other way.”
This would mark the 12th time all season that the Red Bulls conceded a goal within the opening 20 minutes of a match.
“In soccer I don’t know if there is such a thing as justice,” he said. “It’s a question of luck as well. If the ball doesn’t go in, it’s the team that gets it in that wins. In this occasion, we had plenty of opportunities and couldn’t convert them. We have to think about what comes next.”
In his eyes, there is still time to correct the team’s woes, but it will take a group effort to do so
“There is always time to resolve this,” he said confidently. “ One of the things is that everyone feels important within the team, not just the ones that are DPs. Everyone is important in the team and it has to start by believing in it. It’s key for this team.”